First Nations Agency Honoured with Ruth Atkinson Hindmarsh Award

    Tikinagan Child and Family Services helps young people succeed in remote
    fly-in Ontario communities

    TORONTO, Aug. 20 /CNW/ - Success in improving the wellbeing of Aboriginal
children in remote communities has earned Tikinagan Child and Family Services
the prestigious 2008 Ruth Atkinson Hindmarsh Award. Sponsored by the Atkinson
Charitable Foundation and the Hindmarsh families, the award will boost the
operations by this Native Children's Aid Society in 30 remote fly-in First
Nation communities in northwestern Ontario.
    "The excellence of Tikinagan can be measured by the thousand daily acts
to counter hopelessness, deep poverty and alarming rates of teen suicide among
young people in our north. Tikinagan stands out because of its innovative and
culturally-appropriate approach. It is based on a core traditional belief that
local communities must reclaim their own responsibility and ability to care
for and protect all children," said Peter Armstrong, President of the Atkinson
Charitable Foundation.
    Tikinagan Child and Family Services is a Native Children's Aid Society
providing child welfare, child protection and child and family services to 30
First Nation communities in the western portion of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation.
The communities served range from a few hundred to more than two thousand
people. For much of the year most communities are accessible only by air.
    "Tikinagan has helped to dramatically improve services in the north. New
partnerships with First Nations help keep children safe and connected to their
family and cultural identity. The active recruitment and training of community
members helps establish a strong local presence and quicker response times.
The result is strengthened families, healthier children and youth, and a
stronger sense of community pride," said Nancy Hindmarsh, a board trustee of
the Atkinson Charitable Foundation and chair of the selection committee.
    "It is an honour to be recognized by the Atkinson Foundation for the
important work we do with our children. This award will expand our ability to
respond and test innovative ways that can help our children discover their
past, seize the present and anticipate their future," said Michael Hardy,
Executive Director, Tikinagan Child and Family Services.

    The Ruth Atkinson Hindmarsh Award is presented annually in memory of Ruth
Atkinson Hindmarsh president of the foundation until her death in 1994.
Established in 1998 to improve the lives of disadvantaged children, the award
is the largest of its kind in Canada.

For further information:

For further information: Charles E. Pascal, Executive Director, Atkinson
Charitable Foundation, (416) 302-7524

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Atkinson Charitable Foundation

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